By: Phil Stewart, Richard Cowan and Lesley Wroughton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military’s Pacific Command said on Saturday there was no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii after a message was mistakenly sent to Hawaii residents’ mobile phones warning them to seek shelter.
A spokesman for the command said it “detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii” and that the message warning had been sent in error.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard said she checked with the state agency that issued the alert and was told it was sent in error.
She then tweeted, “HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE.”
Gabbard also tweeted the mistaken alert, which said: “EMERGENCY ALERT BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s Twitter account also said “NO missile threat to Hawaii.”
The incident occurred amid high tensions internationally over North Korea’s development of a ballistic nuclear weapon.